Brasilia, April 7th 2011 - The Frente Nacional de Prefeitos (FNP) invited Mayors for Peace to the Brazilian capital for their 59th General Meeting. Nearly 100 Brazilian Mayors elected the new FNP board. The new FNP Board was welcomed by President Dilma Rousseff.
Mayors for Peace had also the opportunity to discuss future co-operation with the Associação Brasileira de Municípios (ABM) and the Confederação Nacional de Municípios (CNM). The proposal to increase Mayors for Peace membership up to one thousand Brazilian Mayors before the end of 2011 has been welcomed by both the FNP and ABM.
The President of FNP, Mr. Joao Coser from the city of Vitoria, was re-elected. Mr. Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, and Mr. Gilberto Kassab, Mayor of Sao Paulo were also re-elected as FNP's Vice-Presidents, while Ms. Luisiane Lins, Mayor of Fortaleza and Mr, Eduardo Pereira, Mayor of Varzea Paulista, were elected for FNP's International Relations. All five Mayors are members of Mayors for Peace. The FNP joined Mayors for Peace formally in April 2010. FNP represents more than 40% of the Brazilian population.
During the FNP General Meeting we welcomed five new members with the Mayors of Araraquara (SP), Corrego Danta (MG), Guaruja (SP), Penapolis (SP) and Rio Claro (SP).
Through increasing our presence and activities in Brazil, Mayors for Peace aims to encourage the Brazilian government to take more leadership to initiate negotiations to establish a nuclear weapon free world. Brazil is the only world power which prohibits the development of nuclear weapons through its constitution dating from 1988.
The solid establishment of Mayors for Peace in Brazil was discussed during meetings with the Executive Directors Gilberto Perre (FNP) and Jose Carlos Rassier for the Associação Brasileira de Municípios (ABM). Also Ms. Ingrid Freitas (FNP) and Debora Maia (ABM), the heads of the communication departments were consulted as plans are developed to increase membership up to 1,000 Brazilian Mayors before the end of 2011. ABM signed an agreement of co-operation with Mayors for Peace in November 2010.
There were also meetings with the Confederação Nacional de Municípios (CNM), the third important Brazilian Association of Local Governments. CNM is Brazil's largest association of local governments with more than 4,000 members. Next month the CNM organizes the XIV March in Brasilia in defense of the Brazilian Municipalities. Mayors for Peace is now planning to join the activities as more than 3,000 Brazilian Mayors are expected to travel to Brasilia for this event.
During the FNP meeting we had the opportunity to discuss briefly future co-operation with CNM's President Mr. Paulo Ziulkoski and the Executive Director Mr. Jeconias da Silva Jr. This resulted in a meeting the next day with the Director of CNM's International Relations, Mr. Mauricio Zanin, and his assistant, Mr. Alexandre Nascimento.
During all of these meetings it was high-lighted that the threat of nuclear weapons is a very distant reality for Brazilian Mayors and citizens. Brazil signed the Treaty of Tlatalolco. The 1968 Treaty declared officially Latin America and the Caribbean a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. Brazil Mayors are unfortunately confronted with urban violence.
During the meeting with Ms. Delma Sandri, FNP's International Relations Director, we were painfully reminded of this as 12 children were being brutally killed in a school in Rio de Janeiro by bullets. Urban gun violence remains one of the main security challenges for Brazilian Mayors. According to the Brazilian NGO Sou Da Paz on average 100 Brazilians are killed every single day as a result of gun violence.
With special thanks to the FNP for their generous financial support for Hiroshima's Mayors for Peace representative Mr. Pol Heanna DHuyvetter and Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaigner Ms. Cinthia Heanna to travel and participate in these meetings in Brasilia.